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Final Assembly

System Builder Marathon, June 2012: $2000 Performance PC

Though the Antec Nine Hundred natively supports a single 2.5” drive on its base, we found this position somewhat unsatisfactory. Fortunately, Mushkin’s Chronos Deluxe MX includes a 3.5” adapter tray and the necessary screws to make use of it. The SSD consequently found itself in one of our hard drive cages instead.

Seasonic provides three connectors on each of its power leads, spaced approximately 6” apart. We were able to reduce cable clutter by using one lead after positioning the SSD at the top of the center hard drive cage.

The larger 3.5" hard drive protrudes further from the cage. Sticking it in the top bay of the bottom cage restricts air flow near the end of the graphics card, creating partially separated thermal zones between the top (CPU-feeding) and bottom (GPU-feeding) intake fans.

We're using Asus' triple slot card because Newegg helped us track it down. But it's obviously an imperfect addition to a system that was intended to support SLI and a full arsenal of drives. One slot thicker and 1.25” longer than Nvidia’s reference GeForce GTX 680, it still fits into our chassis while blocking only a single drive bay. With ¼” of space between its fans and the next graphics card slot, it might even work acceptably with a second card installed.

Antec and Zalman fans are closely matched in both color and intensity, making these an aesthetically ideal pairing.

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